Eric Silver, On Being a Pittsburgh Startup

When people talk about good places to start a fledgling company, not many think of Pittsburgh. It still suffers from an “old world” feel – at the junction of three rivers, Pittsburgh was a place for industry, unionization, Pinkertons, coal, and steel – a legacy writ so large that it looms over the city like the smog it has displaced.

The truth, though, is that as coal has left, the legacy of the magnates of the past has remained in libraries, hospitals, companies, universities, and museums. The rich history of Pittsburgh has created an ecosystem of talented businessmen, numerous and talented small-company incubators, and a rich class of brilliant students.

 

There are certainly some advantages to traditional startup communities – fund-raising is more straight-forward, contracts are standardized, and a lot of folks are thinking about the “next big thing.”  But, ironically, the very success of the Bay Area has made it a lot easier to build startups in Pittsburgh. Down the hall from us, TheResumator raised money from AngelList, our funding came from ex-Bay Area angels, Quora (co-founded by an ex-Pittsburgher) helps us get the advice we need, and Reddit (based in Boston) keeps us close to thousands.

For us, Pittsburgh isn’t just an incubator – it’s where we choose to live.  And it’s not far to visit – drive your browser over to Pikimal and see what we’ve got cooking out on the deck.

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